Rudas: Niño's Horrendous Hermanitas

Book review by
Jan Carr, Common Sense Media
Rudas: Niño's Horrendous Hermanitas Book Poster Image
Niño tangles with his baby sisters in boisterous sequel.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Introduction to Mexican wrestling sport "lucha libre." Lots of Spanish vocabulary folded into the text: las hermanitas, rudas, técnicos, cabeza, el extraterrestre, niños y niñas, fuego, mis hijos, señoras y señores, muy caro, qué es eso?, yo, etc.

Positive Messages

Babies' behavior is funny, and can be put to good, playful use. Older brothers can love their baby sisters and figure out ways to play with them even when the sisters physically bother them. Kids can write books about their experiences, and can quiet younger siblings by reading to them. It's fun to learn about and celebrate different cultures. Languages are fun to learn, use, and mix. Kids from various cultures use their imaginations and play in similar ways.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Niño writes and illustrates his own books and is highly imaginative in his play. He's very sweet with his little sisters, playing with them and calming them when they're crying by reading to them.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rudas: Niñas Horrendous Hermanitas by Caldecort Honor author-illustrator Yuyi Morales (Viva Frida), is a sequel to Niño Wrestles the World, which featured a young boy imagining himself as a Mexican lucha libre wrestler. This one incorporates his baby sisters, who are rudas who play dirty, poking and pulling, as baby sisters will. The pages are fun and busy and action-packed, studded with creative comic book action words like MUARGGG! And Morales weaves in lots of Spanish, some of which is translated, and some of which is understandable to English speakers from context. While there's plenty of rambunctious horseplay and a few diaper jokes, Niño's a model older brother who enjoys his baby sisters and reads to them to calm their crying.

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What's the story?

As RUDAS: NIÑO'S HORRENDOUS HERMANITAS opens, Niño is making a book using crayons and paper. But when his opponent El Extraterrestre arrives, Niño suits up to wrestle him only to stop short when his sisters, Las Hermanitas, are announced instead of him. The two baby girls are rudas who play dirty, and their first move is "BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! The Poopy Bomb Blowout!" Other slick baby moves involve leaving a dirty diaper behind, biting the devil on his long red tail, and shouting "Gimme!" and "¡Mio!" "Will anyone be spared from their Pampered Plunder?" Not even Niño is safe as they poke at his eyes and bite his arm. When Niño does escape, they wail, and no one can make them stop until Niño returns to read them the book he was writing -- and the book's about them!

Is it any good?

In this bold, bright, and boisterous picture book sequel, a young boy who imagines he's a lucha libre wrestler is joined by his two baby sisters who are rudas, wrestlers who don't play by the rules. Rudas: Niñas Horrendous Hermanitas works as a sweet, funny sibling book, as well as an action-heavy superhero-type book complete with villains and speech balloons. It's loaded with humor and bursting with punchy comic book words like "ARGGGWWGGG!" The dirty moves employed by the rudas include "The Poopy Bomb Blowout," and leaving a dirty diaper behind. "¡Santa pañales!" cries Niño -- translated as "Holy diapers!" There's lots of Spanish scattered through the text, so the book's ideal for bilingual kids. And it works beautifully as an introduction to Spanish language and Mexican culture.

Morales paints the wild baby rudas with such appealing faces that we can't help being charmed, as is Niño himself, and the last spread of the siblings cuddled up and reading is very sweet indeed.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the babies' behavior in Rudas: Niñas Horrendous Hermanitas. Do you have younger siblings? Do they do any of the same things that Niño's hermanitas do? How do you help them stop crying?

  • Can you find pictures of the art Niño was drawing for his book? Have you ever made a book? Try to make one! 

  • Did you read the first book, Niño Wrestles the World? Are any of the characters in that book in this book, too?

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